The newly remodeled Library functions as an Information and Community Resource Centre (ICRC), which facilitates re-packaging and dissemination of information to students, tutors, farmers, and other interested guests. Farmers who are not conversant with use of computers and internet are assisted to obtain useful information to apply to their farming needs.
Information from relevant websites on sustainable agriculture, community development, and other areas of interest is re-packaged at the ICRC and disseminated widely using simple pamphlets, newsletters, and other outlets. In this way, resource-poor small-scale farmers are introduced to modern information technologies and are able to access information helpful in planning, decision making, and implementing a successful agricultural enterprise, such as marketing information, availability of equipment and facilities they may need, meteorological information, soil conditions within their area and other useful information.
One resource that is frequently visited at the ICRC is the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) website www.oisat.org, which is very well equipped with information on non-pesticide alternatives for controlling insect pests and diseases. With funding from the Tudor Trust, some internet centers have been established at our community mini-training centers. These outlying Internet Farmer Resource Centers (FRCs) are based in rural areas. Farmers at the FRCs have been trained at the ICRC on computer literacy and are able to assist others in their community in reading electronic information on sustainable farming. Each FRC is equipped with a computer powered by solar equipment, an internet modem, and CDs repackaged with information on sustainable agriculture. In addition to the FRCs enabling farmers in rural areas to access websites from which they can obtain useful information, farmers also use the computers to read repackaged information in CDs.
MHAC will endeavor to upgrade its ICRC to a National Resource Centre that will package and disseminate research-based and experiential information on sustainable agriculture and community development. This will be achieved in partnership with the following:
• National research institutes including Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and International Center for Research in Agro-forestry (ICRAF)
• National universities including Moi, Egerton, and Jomo Kenyatta
• Key partners in development from the civil society organizations including Vi Agroforestry, Anglican Church of Kenya, the PELUM network, Baraka Agricultural Training Institute, and others.
• International partners in development including Ecology Action, USA, Kilili Self Help Project, USA, Makerere University, Uganda, and the University of Wyoming, USA.